Sam KYDD (1915-1982)

Sam Kydd This Is Your Life
  • The only edition of This Is Your Life in the programme's history which was not broadcast in full.

programme details...

  • Edition No: 374
  • Subject No: 375
  • Broadcast date: Wed 20 Feb 1974
  • Broadcast time: 7.00-7.30pm
  • Recorded: Wed 23 Jan 1974
  • Venue: Euston Road Studios
  • Series: 14
  • Edition: 14

on the guest list...

  • Pinkie - wife
  • Jonathan - son
  • Bill Golledge
  • Rev Basil Carver
  • Freddie Foster
  • Derek Lunn
  • Richard Davis
  • Jack Warner
  • Beryl Reid
  • Jim Laker
  • Patrick Allen
  • Gerald Flood
  • Rodney Bashford
  • ex POW colleagues

production team...

  • Researcher: unknown
  • Writer: unknown
  • Director: Peter Webb
  • Producer: Malcolm Morris
  • names above in bold indicate subjects of This Is Your Life
  • with thanks to Jonathan Kydd for his contribution to this page
related pages...

An Actor's Life For Me

spotlight on the stars

A Life Refused

those who said 'No'


the show's fifty year history

Not on your life

Press coverage of Richard Gordon's 'on air' refusal of the big red book

Secrets Of 'Life': The ones who got away

Producer Malcolm Morris exposes some production secrets to TV Times

Beryl Reid


Jonathan Kydd, son of Sam Kydd, recalls this edition of This Is Your Life in an exclusive interview recorded in November 2012

Sam Kydd This Is Your Life Sam Kydd This Is Your Life Sam Kydd This Is Your Life Sam Kydd This Is Your Life Sam Kydd This Is Your Life Sam Kydd This Is Your Life Sam Kydd This Is Your Life Sam Kydd This Is Your Life Sam Kydd This Is Your Life Sam Kydd This Is Your Life Sam Kydd This Is Your Life Sam Kydd This Is Your Life

Photographs of Sam Kydd This Is Your Life

Malcolm Morris biography

Producer Malcolm Morris recalls this edition of This Is Your Life in his book, This Is My Life... the beginning of a live programme that I was directing, Richard Gordon, of the 'Doctor' books and films fame, came into Thames Television reception in London. Suddenly Eamonn Andrews appeared beside him.

As he saw Eamonn, Richard also spotted two cameras in the corridor.

'Hello,' said Eamonn. 'Tonight, Richard Gordon, this is your life.'

Richard looked at Eamonn. 'Are we on now?' he asked.

'Yes,' said Eamonn, 'this is live.'

'Balls,' said Richard. He then turned to dash out of the building.

'We've got a lot of guests waiting to see you,' said Eamonn rather anxiously.

'I didn't invite them,' replied Richard.

By this time I had faded the picture out and started a stand-by programme on actor Sam Kydd, due to have gone out the following week.

Richard Gordon was now halfway out of the studio door.

'Oh, come on,' said Eamonn.

Richard paused. 'Oh, all right,' he said.

He went back into the studio with Eamonn and we recorded the programme for the following week.

I don't know why Richard Gordon said no in the first place, but what I do know is that he made the front page of nearly every newspaper in the country on the following day.

Gus Smith biography of Eamonn Andrews

Gus Smith recalls this edition of This Is Your Life in his book, Eamonn Andrews His Life...

Eamonn still found the pick-up moment nerve-racking. He never knew when a potential subject would say no and walk away.

The Danny Blanchflower affair was still fresh in his memory. Yet, subsequently, when Richard Gordon, best-selling creator of the famous 'Doctor' books and television series, refused to appear on This Is Your Life, Eamonn admitted that he experienced the same kind of agony as when Danny Blanchflower walked off. 'I really don't know why he refused. Perhaps he just didn't want to face the cameras.'

More than twenty million saw the author walk off the set at Thames Television, with Eamonn following him close behind in a desperate bid to persuade him to stay. After a few moments confusion, the screen went blank. Then a recorded version of a standby programme, featuring the actor Sam Kydd, was shown.

Richard Gordon had been brought on as a mock 'Doctor' sketch was being played by members of the Doctor In The House cast from London Weekend Television. Eamonn held up the large Life book and told him, 'You won't need a script tonight because, Richard Gordon Ostlere this is your life!' It was at that moment that he decided to snub Eamonn. He later returned to the studio however and explained to the audience of 200 that he was 'pathologically shy'. He then went ahead with a recording of the programme.

After the incident Thames Television was inundated with telephone calls from viewers wanting to know what had happened. A spokesman for Thames explained that sometimes the show was recorded and sometimes put on live. 'As luck would have it tonight's show was live. But live or recorded, it is always a surprise to the subject. Tonight was a surprise to us. We hope to show the Richard Gordon Life at a future date.'

At the point of the author's refusal to cooperate, Eamonn had looked shaken and pale. It was obvious that some programmes were proving more nerve-racking than even he cared to admit. But he was prepared to endure the pain for the sake, as he would say, of the thrill of a live programme.

Series 14 subjects

Jim Dale | Vic Feather | Hayley Mills | Pete Murray | George Sewell | David Nixon | Robert Dougall | Deryck Guyler
Derek Dougan | William Coles | Jimmy Jewel | John Alderton | Patrick Moore | Sam Kydd | John Dankworth
Gordon Ostlere (Richard Gordon) | Lionel Blair | Sheila Scott | Roy Dotrice | Barry Briggs | Christopher Lee
Beryl Grey | Terry Biddlecombe | Don Revie | Robert Morley | David Hemery | Eamonn Andrews